GAA’s zero-tolerance stance on touts may see fans turned away at gate
ANYONE who buys All-Ireland final tickets for inflated prices from commercial or online sites is in for a rude awakening next Sunday, the GAA has warned.
"Anyone who sells a ticket above face-value is technically touting them and where we can identify those tickets they are automatically cancelled and reissued through the county allocations," Croke Park's ticketing manager Ronan Murphy warned yesterday.
Many tickets sold through the black market, especially online, are advertised with photos to confirm their authenticity.
But that also helps the GAA to identify such tickets and cancel them.
That means anyone who pays over the odds for tickets from unauthorised sources runs a serious risk of turning up at the turnstiles on Sunday to discover that their tickets are invalid and that someone else has bought the reissued 'real' ticket for their seats.
There has been an increase in touting this year due to the amount of interest generated by the Kerry/Dublin glamour tie, but the GAA already monitors unofficial ticket sites, including the internet, in a bid to stamp out touting.
Murphy said Croke Park has already cancelled tickets for this weekend's big football double-header that are still being auctioned online and that unwitting GAA fans who buy them will not know until they turn up at the turnstiles on Sunday.
"Irrespective of demand this is GAA policy and practice for several years," he said.
"We can now trace tickets and any that we identify as being touted we automatically cancel.
"Basically, when people turn up with them, the barcode will be invalid and they will be turned away," he cautioned.
"People should be aware of this at this stage, but we would like to reiterate our warning: do not buy tickets off websites because they will be cancelled," he stressed.
The GAA also has a host of security features built into their tickets designed to foil counterfeiters, including a hologram and special printing paper.
Tickets for Sunday's mouth-watering final were on sale on both Ebay and www.needaticket.ie yesterday.
The latter was offering two seats in the Lower Cusack for €700, but in most cases the details of the tickets were not given.